Floating City: Data Visualisation – Week 6

After we modelled our floating city, we thought about how we were going to present it along with the relevant statistical data.

This is a model by last year’s students, based on Belfast city. They have used after effects to display their statistics along with a roaming camera shot:

Luckily, one of the books I bought second hand from a second year at the start of this course is all about data visualisation! “Information is Beautiful” by David McCandless, displays information in all manner of ways. A talk from McCandless:

We might incorporate the colour scheme of the city into our data visualisation rather than into our model.


“Data visualization is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. It enables decision makers to see analytics presented visually, so they can grasp difficult concepts or identify new patterns.” – Google

It is used to quickly comprehend information, pinpoint emerging trends, identify relationships and communicate the overall picture to others.

We will need to understand the data and determine what we’re trying to visualise and what kind of information we want to communicate. We’ll need to know how our information will be processed against our video/image of our floating city (the layout being a major factor here). Simplicity is key.

We looked at free sites specialised in visualising information such as Raw, ZingChart, Visually, Fusion Charts, D3 and JavaScript’s InfoVis Toolkit.

I personally found Raw was the best one as it gives you a range of different types of charts and graphs and all you need to do is upload your information in excel spreadsheet form and you don’t even need to download anything.

I also got the free trial of Adobe After Effects to play around with.

Rosie and I looked at HUD displays, in particular futuristic ones:

Alternative HUDs:

We discussed the statistics that we wanted to include over our clip; the population (male to female ratio, health, age range, birth and death ratio), power stats, poverty, geology, weather, ethnicities and religions.

We liked the more futuristic design as we thought it would look better with our futuristic city.

Jordan and Samantha looked up the statistics and then converted them into pie and bar charts.

Ethnic Demography 2011.pngBirth rate.pngpopulation.pngCrime and Birth rate IHIS.pngpMORTALITYge.png

I then overlaid these charts using After Effects never used it before so it was kind of tricky getting them animated.

The sound file that plays over the clip was quickly put together on GarageBand due to approaching deadline. It’s composed of the Halo 4 intro, the Destiny Warlock motif and the national anthem of Lithuania.

This is our presentation and our data visualisation clip: (Working on the smoke currently)


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